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What advisers are saying: Success in the new world – the talent is in the choices

Phil Wickenden Pink 2014 700

”Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of,” Opined Benjamin Franklin while brainstorming with a beer – Ben’s preferred method of self and social improvement.

Most things do not happen as quickly as we would like or expect.They take time.

Even the things that seem sudden are more often the manifestation of the small stuff that has been developing, unseen, over a significant time horizon. Volcanoes are a great example (groaning tectonic plates and all that).

Closer to home, many commentators feared the introduction of the RDR at the start of 2013 would have an Armageddon-like impact on the sector. And while last year was certainly an eventful one in terms of regulation, for many advisers (if not providers) it was more business as usual than expected.

The media writes about ‘suddenly’, we notice ‘now’, we talk about ‘out of no-where’. And so it is easy to make the mistake of focusing on the ‘suddenly’ part and forgetting the gradual: the small investments of time and energy day in, day out: aka the grind.

But without it, every day opportunities are missed, little bits of value are lost, customers become un-entranced. We do not notice so much until, apparently quite suddenly, our business model is not delivering what it used to.

As Seth Godin blogged recently: “It didn’t happen suddenly, you just noticed it suddenly”.

he same things goes with success. Trust is earned, value is delivered and lessons are learned. Day by day we improve and build an asset without necessarily seeing the pay off. Until one day, quite suddenly, we become the 10 year overnight success. But you cannot control when that day may happen – only how you choose to spend your time every day before.

A year in to the RDR and there is still little certainty around how the industry will shape up in 2014 and beyond.

Platforms, providers and advisers alike have had their heads down doing what’s necessary to be compliant, mostly revolving around the mechanisms of facilitating adviser charges.

This is a good starting point, but it should be just that. The start. Satisfying the regulator is not the same as satisfying the market and survival to date will in no way guarantee success in the future. The only thing that will is how you choose to spend your time. As Robert De Niro said “the talent is in the choices”, which is ironic given his recent CV – sorry Bob.

Phil Wickenden is managing director of So Here’s The Plan phil@soherestheplan.co.uk

IFA quotes from research…

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